This morning, during my first hour in Paraguay, I made a cool 1.1 million. I will tell the story in a minute.


It took 10 hours and 30 minutes to Aerolinas Argentina, AR1201, to fly the distance between JFK Airport in New York to Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires.  Otherwise, it was occasionally a rocky flight due to bad weather.


Aerolinas Argentina, AR1260 took 100 minutes to fly from  from Buenos Aires to Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU) in Asuncion, Paraguay, The entry visa (that no one seemed to know about) costs $160.

At the currency exchange counter, I handed 200 dollars to the attendant. I received 1.1 million Paraguayan Guarani back, for an exchange rate of $1 = 5,923,55 Guarani. That was my first million for the week!


At the door, Narcisso, at the wheel of a mid-size car, was waiting.  We left in direction of Hotel Guarani, located half-an-hour away, where I would check in.  Narciso Carvalho does not speak English, but my Spanish was not too rusty to have an entertaining and productive conversation with the middle-age driver who knows much of the city. He has been working for three decades.


Half way to the hotel, traffic became denser.  Taxi drivers were protesting the market grab by Uber, the ride-sharing company. These protests are now becoming a world-wide phenomenon.


Hotel Guarini, at Independencia Nacional, is an elegant venue designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niermeyer.  The suite is spacious and tastefully decorated. The staff is polished.  A few staffers are proficient in English.  Food is delicious and plentiful.


With not much rest, I hit the road to discover this historical city. Asunsion is among the oldest in the New World.  Here are a few sites you should not miss, during your first tour of the Paraguayan capital:

  • Calle Palma, which is the city’s main street
  • House of Independence
  • Presidential Palace
  • National Pantheon
  • Parliament
  • Library of Congress
  • Squatters areas (favelas)
  • Ministry of Defense
  • Barracks of the Regimento Ecolta Presidential
  • Headquarters of Olympia Football Club
  • Russian Embassy
  • Women’s prison
  • Calle Charles de Gaulle
  • Avenida Mariscal Lopez
  • Shopping del Sol
  • House of Anastasio Somoza, the exiled Nicaraguan leader
  • The spot where Anastasio Somoza was killed by an Argentinian terrorist cell.
  • The 19th century train station, now used solely for tourists.
  • …and some more


The Traveller

(Odler Robert Jeanlouie, Sunday, December 16, 2018)


*Join the Travel Club for Professionals on:
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